Union Members at Simplot in Northern Tasmania are calling on the company to ensure that jobs at Simplot are secure and permanent – and not changed to casual positions.
In addition, workers are calling for existing casuals to have more rights at work than they currently have.
Workers and their union, The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) have been negotiating with their employer, Simplot, for over 12 months now.
The main sticking points include the company’s refusal to agree not to make permanent jobs casual, and the rate of pay rise.
The company has continually threatened to lift the cap on casuals and make permanent jobs casual in the near future.
“Our main concern at Simplot is to make sure that our jobs are secure – not casualised out,” said AMWU State Secretary John Short.
“We know there will always be the need for some casuals in the food industry, but we don’t want to see secure part and full-time jobs being traded into casual ones.
“Simplot has been threatening to change permanent jobs to casuals – this is just another example of employers and corporations having too much power.
“We hope Simplot will see that rampant casualisation is destroying our communities and making all our lives harder and harder. Without regular and reliable hours, none of us can plan for our futures, or even spend money locally.
“In fact, having secure jobs benefits a consumer company like Simplot because it means we’re more able to buy their products when we go grocery shopping!”
The workers’ calls come on the back of ACTU polling and Unions Tasmania polling into what the Australian community feels about casualisation and insecure work.
ACTU polling data released Monday shows that over 75% Australians surveyed believe there is too much casualisation and that companies are doing the wrong thing by moving permanent jobs to casual.
Unions TAS research conducted late last year shows that the Tasmanian job market is one of the most casualised and insecure in Australia – which is hurting the Tasmanian economy.
“Stable work and stable income is good for workers and good for business – it’s not rocket science,” said AMWU State Secretary John Short.
“When workers have stable incomes, they are able to spend money in our local economy. This benefits multinational companies like Simplot.
“It’s time for Simplot to do the right thing and negotiate fairly with their workers, and make sure everyone benefits into the future.”
Tamsin Lloyd: AMWU Media 0448 006 391
John Short: AMWU Tasmania 0418 839 026